September 30th, 2016

Council leader throws weight behind doctors

REDDITCH council leader Bill Hartnett has called on health chiefs to explain why they won’t let Birmingham trusts enter the bidding process to provide health cover for local people.

Throwing his weight behind doctors both in Redditch and Bromsgrove and across the county who branded future plans for the Alex as unsustainable and not proven to be safe, he said: “I full support our doctors – they said they have had concerns for years and I would agree.

“We support the Alex, we want the Alex to be a growing and vibrant hospital fully capable of caring for the population it serves.

His intervention comes after Dame Julie Moore, chief executive of University Hospital Trust Birmingham based at the QE Hospital, made plain that she ‘would be really interested’ in supporting services at the Alex and that the region needed a strong and fully functioning hospital in Redditch.

“People are seeing what is going in here and already voting with their feet and going to Birmingham,” said Coun Harnett.

“All the trains, all the buses go to Birmingham and its geographically closer to Redditch and easier to get to,” he said.

“Dame Julie said she wants to see a strong hospital in Redditch and so do we, with easy access to healthcare services.”

He also accused the current health care provider – Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust – of being short-sighted in its provision for the people it serves.

“They don’t seem to plan as far ahead as local authorities,” he said. “We know that there is already concern with the capacity at Worcester yet there are thousands of new homes being built all over the county, including around Redditch and Bromsgrove.

“And what about Studley and Alcester? They don’t get a say in this but they rely on the Alex as well.

“The trust seem to take a short term view of things yet there is an big upsurge in demand coming its way.”